Let's see if MLS can get a quality result tonight as the Dynamo host Saprissa of Costa Rica. Everything is in place for Houston tonight, Saprissa will be missing their top playmaker Walter Centeno and their top forward in Alejandro Alpizar.
Really interesting lineup out of Houston, injuries are affecting their wingers (Mullan, Davis, Holden). It's a shame, because they could be really effective against the makeshift lineup Saprissa is being forced to use. We'll see how it shakes out, I don't like Mulrooney drifting wide, but I do like Ashe's speed out there.
Chingy blasts with his left foot, but it's off the side netting. Nice intensity early out of the Dynamo...
Wade Barrett is going to have keep making runs to take advantage of the wings.
Barrett with a dangerous tackle in the box, but it works out for him.
Bennett saves Saprissa with a clearing header off a corner. Boswell with a nice header off another corner, but right at the keeper. Tons of corners for Houston in the early going...
Saprissa might've been in a 3-5-2 early, but it's looking more and more like their traditional 3-4-3 the longer we play.
Corey Ashe with a great move on the left, a great cross, but Chingy just can't quite get his head on it to finish. Nunez goes down for Saprissa, beats Ianni pretty bad, and Onstad makes a nice save to keep it scoreless. Things are opening up after 30 minutes.
DDR with a nice layoff for Chingy, but he's stoned again. The guy is cursed tonight.
Caraccio is not quite in the same rhythm as the rest of the Dynamo, he needs more time with them.
Memo to Max Bretos, lay off on the Different Strokes jokes. Christopher Sullivan does not approve.
Not a bad first half at all for the Dynamo, but not good enough either. If they want to advance to the final, Houston has to take a lead down to Costa Rica in the second leg. They need goals, and they need a few of them. Chingy needs a live rooster or something to break the hex on his head and his boots.
Corey Ashe has looked great in the first half, MOTM so far...
No changes to start the second half from either team.
Take the mic away from the guy sitting in the far corner of the field, his commentary is worse than Marcelo Balboa!
Alonso is a nasty player for Saprissa, Houston can't afford to give him space in the attacking third.
Houston seems lethargic starting the second half.
Mulrooney is adding very little offense from the right flank. DDR or Clark has to drift out to help, because Ianni isn't going to get forward much either.
As I type that, Mulrooney finally gets off a dangerous cross.
The life is back in the Dynamo, but they still have nothing to show for it. I wish they'd try to play through Ashe more, his speed is dangerous.
I do like Caraccio's passing up top, but he's just not completely meshing with his teammates. As he gets more comfortable, he could be dangerous in MLS because he's a different type of forward.
DDR with a sweet, spinning move out on the right and gets off a dangerous cross that is cleared before it reaches Ashe.
I disagree with Sullivan, I think Saprissa is bunkering more than Houston is pushing them back. The Dynamo do seem to be getting stronger as the second half goes on.
Navas is very strong in the air, he is owning his box for Saprissa.
Caraccio almost pounces on a half chance, but he JUST pops it over the crossbar.
Bretos says Caraccio is cramping up, I guess it's Wondolowski time soon. Navas just stoned Caraccio after a great pass from Mulrooney.
Saprissa's midfield is non-existent.
Memo to Sullivan, thanks for telling us that the Saprissa forwards are the key players on their counterattacks. I would have never guessed.
Ricardo Clark with a great tackle to stop Alonso running at the defense again. Saprissa has had a little run of dangerous-ness here lately.
Navas is catching everything in the box.
Is Houston going to make any subs? I'm starting to wonder...
Badilla has to come off for Saprissa. Houston pulls Mulrooney in favor of Geoff Cameron.
Saprissa is cutting off the passing lanes well, their defense is very solid. Houston can't figure out how to break them down.
Barrett with a bad giveaway going forward, but Houston recovers well. Bretos is right, Boswell has played very well.
Chingy just can't put a shot on goal with his head or feet, he's totally hexed. Caraccio is finally replaced, it's WONDO time.
Saprissa pulls Alonso, brings on Barrantes, and clamps down for the scoreless draw. Ten minutes to go...
Ashe earns a dangerous free kick, will anything come of it? Nope, it's cleared from the six yard box and Clark's rebound shot is shanked wide.
Get the horse tranquilizers ready for Mullan and Davis in the second leg, they're desperately needed for the Dynamo.
Ianni's crosses kind of stink. He's somehow earned a corner though after an even worse header from Bennett. Eddie Robinson decides to kick Gomez in the face instead of anything good happening.
Into stoppage time, Houston really needs a break.
Memo to Sullivan, all the holding and checking in the world doesn't make up for all of the missed chances Ching has had tonight. As I'm typing it, he blows another chance.
A couple chances for both team in the last minute, but we end scoreless.
Memo to Bretos and Sullivan, sure Houston played well. However, they didn't get the job done. I don't care how good of friends you are with Chingy, he should've had at least two goals tonight. They had to win the home leg of this series, facing a team without it's best player who will be returning in the second leg in one of the most hostile places to play in the world. Just like DC last night, Houston did not get the job done.
At some point, it has to be recognized that this just isn't good enough.